Last Weekend to Register Voters

Thousands Shy of Their Goal, Democrats Push Before Monday Deadline

With Monday, October 24 the last day to register to vote, Democrats press to sign up new voters at UCSB and Isla Vista.
Paul Wellman (file)

Four days before the deadline to register people to vote, the Santa Barbara Democratic Party reported registering 7,609 new voters in the Isla Vista area — roughly 5,000 shy of their previously stated goal. In the last week, however, Darcel Elliott, longtime aide to Assemblymember Das Williams, confirmed that about 700 people are still registered since the primaries because they have not moved apartments, meaning the total eligible voters, as of Thursday, is 8,270.

The party registration breakdown at this point is unclear, but if present trends continue, about half are registered Democrats; 7 percent are Republicans; 38 percent are declined to state.

In Santa Barbara County elections, it is difficult to overstate the importance of Isla Vista. The number of people living on the UCSB campus and in the Isla Vista box is around 23,000. The county elector files show 18,881 total voters, but that also includes people who might have moved out of the area but are still on the voter rolls.

It is usually difficult to ascertain how many voters are in fact registered at their current address because students change apartments as in a game of musical chairs; frequent moving requires them to re-register. Elliott said she has found more students have not moved, it seems, compared to past years.

Some of the 700 confirmations are people who registered online, which 3rd District supervisorial candidate Bruce Porter has pushed, arguing that the Democratic Party-run voter registration tables on the UCSB campus put voters’ personal information in jeopardy.

Elliott expressed confidence13, 000 people would be able to vote by Election Day, including new registrations and confirmations. She expects to register 1,000 new ones this weekend and 2,000 on Monday, the last day to register voters.